Electric Vehicles

Roland Gumpert introduces Nathalie, a road-legal, methane-powered electric super sports car

Photo courtesy of Roland Gumpert

Famed race car driver Roland Gumpert is back in the sports car space. This time, it's with his own company (they share a name) and a unique creation - something that's hard to find in the auto space these days. Meet Nathalie, a road-legal electric super sports car with performance handling that runs on methane. Yes, methane.

The car, which is named after one of Gumpert's daughters, was first shown as a prototype in 2018, but is now ready for production, as a 2021 model.

2021 Roland Gumpert Nathalie

Photo courtesy of Roland Gumpert

Messaging from the company says that the model is, "an uncompromising electric super sports car. It is one of the fastest and most dynamic sports cars you can drive with a license plate on a normal road."

The car is slated to achieve 536 horsepower and get from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. It has a top speed of 190 mph and a claimed range of over 300 miles in spirited driving situations. It is said to have nearly double the range when drivers choose to drive more conservatively using Eco mode.

Where does that power come from? It comes from methane.

In the Toyota Mirai, a fuel cell-electric powertrain uses hydrogen to move the car along the road. The concept with the Nathalie is similar, only instead of hydrogen, the car uses methane. It has a 17.1-gallon methanol tank.

Methane is an abundant resource on Earth, most noted recently because of its existence as a byproduct of the digestion process of cows. BMW is also exploring the possibilities of methane, utilizing the manure from a farm in California.

How does a methanol fuel cell work? | Gumpert Nathalie | Roland Gumpert www.youtube.com

Roland Gumpert will begin producing the model in early 2021, producing just 500 of them at first and they will be labeled First Edition models. The price tag sits at approximately $460,000.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

This E-Type wasn't always this pretty.

Photo courtesy of E-Type UK

Kevin Keegan is a football legend, an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and the former owner of a vintage Jaguar that was recently restored by E-Type UK. Presently, the vehicle resides with a private owner in Middlesex, South East England.

Everything wasn't always coming up roses for the car. After leaving Keegan's ownership, the 1972 Jaguar E-Type 3 Roadster was left bruised and battered as the result of an accident. When it came time for a repair, E-Type UK's team was able to discern that most of the damage was superficial. They the set about on a complete restoration of the model, restoring it to very near the condition it was in when it rolled off the assembly line in Coventry in 1972.

1972 Jaguar E-Type Series 3 V12 Roadster Restoration

Photo courtesy of E-Type UK

E-Type UK's restoration technicians started by stripping down the car, removing all chrome and brightwork. It then became apparent. The latest crash wasn't the E-Type's only one. The Roadster had been subject to numerous scuffs in the past and a number of poorly executed repair jobs.

The workshop team removed the repair victims, the offside sill and top scuttle, and fitted new ones, before reshaping the vehicle's hood back to its iconic curve.

Once the metalwork had been repaired the car was filled and primed, and made ready for its respray. All the car's panels had been cleaned, hardened, and block sanded.

The current owner of the car made it clear. They wanted it finished in its factory color - Jaguar Willow Green. And so it was.

Jaguar E-Type Paint Restoration - Willow Green www.youtube.com

Once the exterior of the vehicle was completed, the interior leather was trimmed in biscuit with a matching mohair hood.

The final steps of restoration checked off items on a list of requests from the owner: adding period-appropriate number plates, side mirrors, and factory standard wheels. The car also got a stainless steel sports exhaust and a 14-inch Motor-Lita steering wheel.

E-Type UK Founder, Marcus Holland said: "We are particularly proud of this restoration and delighted with the way that it looks after spending time in our workshop. The owner was particularly upset after the car was involved in an accident and wanted us to restore it to its former glory. With its celebrity past due to Kevin Keegan's former ownership, we worked hard to bring it back to factory standard, with a glorious Willow Green finish. Not only are we delighted to have delivered our client with his car back in perfect condition but we are honored to have played a part in the ongoing story of this iconic British sportscar."

Trending News

 
 

Ford and Volkswagen are spending billions to develop autonomous vehicle technology.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

There are currently no self-driving cars for sale in the U.S., despite what you may read in the headlines. In a recent post on Medium, John Lawler, CEO, Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, and Ford Motor Company Vice President, Mobility Partnerships, spelled out how the Volkswagen and Ford investments into Argo AI will help move the ball when it comes to the future of self-driving and autonomous vehicle technology.

A deal between Volkswagen, Ford, and Argo AI was announced last year and valued at $7 billion. As part of the partnership agreement, Volkswagen committed to investing $1 billion in funding and contributing its $1.6 billion Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) company, which includes more than 200 employees – most of whom have been developing self-driving technology for the Volkswagen Group.

Ford Argo AI Austin Ford has already invested billions in the technology company.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Additionally, Volkswagen is set to purchase Argo AI shares from Ford for $500 million over three years (part of a larger $1 billion cash commitment to Argo AI).

With the money, Ford and Volkswagen have an equal stake in Argo AI.

It helps with the cost.

Volkswagen is slightly flusher with cash than Ford at the moment but the investment by both companies means that they won't be independently shelling out to research, develop, build, and test phases of the technology as it develops.

Ford has committed to spending more than $4 billion through 2023 on the development of self-driving tech. Because there are currently no self-driving cars on the road today, each dollar spent is an investment in the possibility of a future. That's not a quantifiable amount of ROI (return on investment) so joining together should help soothe investor insecurity regarding the spend.

The partnership makes scalable deployment possible.

Argo AI is able to use the partnership to make plans to scale up the roll out of its technology. Ford and Volkswagen sell vehicles worldwide giving an instant global presence to the technology in the marketplace, on some of the most popular models sold.

Having a proper and dependable scalable infrastructure in place allows for predictability of costs. This, in turn, allows for more informed decision making due to more predictable economic conditions, which informs everything from the number of staff working on the technology to the types and brands of equipment used in the process.

Ford and Volkswagen remain independent

Though the companies are both all in on this partnership, they're still committed to their own company branding, vehicle development, and technology rollout plans. Any technology developed by the company would likely need to work its way into the lineup rather than create a whole new joint product line shared by Ford and Volkswagen.

This also means that the companies are dedicated to competition. Lawler writes, "Ford will remain independent and fiercely competitive in building its own self-driving service. Sharing the development costs with Volkswagen doesn't mean Ford is reducing its overall spend in the autonomous vehicle space. Instead, we are reallocating the money toward our unique customer experience including transportation as a service software development and fleet operations. We believe building the best overall customer experience will help differentiate us from our competitors in the self-driving space."

Argo AI remains committed

While the focus is on Ford and Volkswagen's involvement, Argo AI hasn't lost sight of their mission. When the investment news was made public last July, the company said that it was focused on delivering a SAE Level 4-capable SDS to be applied for ride sharing and goods delivery services in dense urban areas.

Trending News